Saturday, March 28, 2015

Adventures in Geocaching, March 18th, 2015

Dayton Creek flowing toward Flathead Lake
Dayton, Montana

Wednesday, March 18th, I packed my gear in the car and headed to Kalispell.  It was time for a Costco Run, and quite frankly, both Kevin and I prefer the Costco in Kalispell to the one in Missoula.  Since they're both around 85 miles away, the travel itself becomes six of one, etc.   The main difference in the trip is the scenery.  The way we drive to Kalispell, we turn onto US Highway 93 at the Ktunaxa (Kootenai) village of Elmo on the western shore of Flathead Lake, and for the next twenty-six miles, we are driving along the lakeside, or as close to the lakeside as the highway allows.  There are lots of vantage points and I, for one, never get tired of seeing the lake.  Of course, if I'm traveling alone, I always make sure to have my GPS unit along with the intent of grabbing any stray geocaches I have yet to find.  

To get to Elmo, we take Montana Highway 28 north and east from Plains, a distance of forty-eight miles with eighteen caches hidden along the way.  Last year I found all  eighteen, and this year I needed to expand my search radius.  There are some thirty-plus caches hidden along US 93 between Elmo and Kalispell, depending on how close to the highway you want to stay, lots more if you're willing to get off the road, and lists 391 caches hidden within ten miles of the 59901 (Kalispell) zip code.  If you increase your search parameters to 30 miles, the most allowed these days on the hobby's website, you get 852 caches.  That's enough to keep anyone going for a day or three.

Just a few of the sailboats waiting for summer
Dayton, Montana

I understand there is a way to load a group of caches at once into my Garmin Montana 650t, but I haven't figured that out.  I have to load them one by one, so I usually don't add more than 30 at a time, one by one.  To prepare for today's trip, I loaded all the caches immediately adjacent to US 93 between Elmo and just south of Kalispell.  I also loaded in the caches around a couple of places I wanted to check out in the Kalispell area, namely Foy's Lake and Lonepine State Park, two recreational areas I've never visited.  Finally, I found a trail of ten caches just a couple miles north of Costco, and thought that would be a good chance to get some physical exercise to complement the mental exercise involved in geocaching.

Just north of the town of Elmo is a topographical formation known as Chief Cliff.  Legend says that Chief Eneas, in an effort to remind the Ktunaxa people of the importance of heeding their elders, sacrificed himself by riding his horse off the cliff.  Polson author Maggie Plummer writes about it on the Make It Missoula website.  The first cache on my list for the day was The Legend of Chief Cliff, a traditional cache hidden off the highway just north of Elmo.

Empty slips waiting for the sailboats
Dayton, Montana

The next town north of Elmo is Dayton, home to Mission Mountain Winery, one of western Montana's premier vintners.  I'd never had a reason (as if I needed one) to get off the highway at Dayton, but two geocaches hidden nearby brought me to a stop.  The first, a cache hidden on private property near the banks of Dayton Creek promised a challenge as the gate to the property was closed and a For Sale sign made me wonder if the cache would even be available.  But sure enough, I crawled through the gate and Garmin led me directly to the cache, hidden in a way I had never before seen, and frankly thought was against the rules.  Back at the car, I turned toward the town itself and looked for the cache hidden where Dayton Creek enters the waters of the lake.  This one proved more difficult, and in fact completely stumped me, so I grabbed the camera and got some shots of the creek, the bay, and Dayton itself.  As you can see, the weather wasn't very camera friendly, and the colors were pretty muddy.  You can't have everything, I guess.  As it turned out, of the sixteen photos I took on the trip, all were taken either in Dayton or at the West Shore campground in the state park up the road.

Further north I picked up the caches named "Another Smiley Along the Way" and "Sqelixw," the latter being the Salish word for Salish, and the cache being located at the sign marking the reservation boundary.  I stopped at Rollins to look for "Osprey Nest," and while I found the nest itself--it's hard to miss an osprey nest--the cache itself proved more elusive.  But my body was beginning to let me know that I needed to find a public facility soon, and that made me so uncomfortable that I thought only of getting to Kalispell and finding a restroom and lunch.  I therefore drove right past the next to caches hidden along the way, including the one at my childhood playground, the Flathead Lake United Methodist Campground.

Goose Island
West Shore Unit, Flathead Lake State Park

But north of the church camp you'll find one of the six units of Flathead Lake State Park, and state parks, especially those with campgrounds, always have outhouses, right?  As it turns out, the West Shore unit is the only Flathead Lake State Park campground I hadn't previously visited.  I've even been to the large island park, Wild Horse Island, which is accessible only by boat.  Why I'd never stopped at West Shore is a question I can't answer.  Perhaps because of its proximity to the church camp, or the fact that I've been to Frank Bird Linderman's home just north of the campground.  But nature was calling, and that meant stopping at the park where, coincidentally, there are two geocaches hidden.  Having relieved the tension in my body, I set out to find those two caches, and was successful with both, but I left the car parked and walked first to one, then to the second, and found the hike a bit tiring.  Not sure what that was all about, but let's just say that the trail wasn't flat, and there was some scrambling involved--an activity that my glasses tend to impede.  By the way, should I be concerned that the state's own website for the park, linked above, starts out with a warning of all the things not to do while visiting the park and includes a badly pixellated photo of Goose Island?  At least I think it's Goose Island.  Hard to say from the picture.

Deep Bay 7/15 was an easy find, but Don't Get... was not so easy.  It was another cache that involved a scramble, and as I noted on my posted log, the rocks were both wet and mossy.  My vertigo really was acting up and the GPS unit was going crazy, probably because the rocks were scrambling the signal.  The hint for the cache is "You'll know it when you see it, maybe..." and sure enough, when I saw it, I knew immediately.  One of the secrets of finding geocaches is to look for something out of place.  A wire hanging out of a hole in a rock, for instance, or a piece of wood where there just isn't any other wood.  I won't say what was out of place here, but when I spotted it, I knew.

I also knew that I was getting very hungry.  Geocaching always takes longer than I expect, and lunch was now overdue and I still wasn't in Kalispell.  I had been craving KFC (and don't tell me how bad that is for me), so I was dead set on having a two-piece lunch in town.  That meant driving past several other restaurants but I was determined!

The next cache north of Don't Get... is named "Tarantula."  According to my GPS, finding it would involve a major climb up a rock face, or coming around the back side which still involved quite a climb.  My vertigo, not yet calmed from Don't Get... really kicked in here, and to make matters worse, I couldn't find the cache.  The GPS unit was again acting up--probably because of all the rocks, so I finally gave up, eased my way back down the cliff, and drove off.  I drove through the town of Lakeside, passing up at least three restaurants and at least three geocaches, but stopped at the fruit stand that sells cherries in season and picked up the cache there.  I also grabbed the cache further north, another one named Osprey Nest.  In this case, however, while I found the cache, I didn't see anything like a nest.

My faithful GeoSaab at West Shore State Park
Flathead Lake, Montana

Driving through Somers, and passing the caches there, I did stop at the overlook just north of town, but was completely unsuccessful at finding the cache hidden there.  Lunch was definitely overdue, and my system was telling me EAT!  NOW!  So I drove on into town and pulled into the KFC parking lot.  Of my two piece lunch, one piece was so small it was barely larger than my thumb, and the larger piece, a breast, tasted as if it had been fried in months old oil.  I couldn't finish it.  The mashed potatoes, or what they call mashed potatoes, were tasteless and the biscuit was old and stale.  The iced tea tasted stale as well.  The cole slaw was good, but did I really just pay $10 for three sporks of cole slaw?  If the Kalispell KFC was my only exposure to the franchise, I'd never go back.

The weather was getting worse by the minute, so I did my shopping and avoided the area caches I'd planned to find.  Save them for a sunnier day.  And since I bought frozen goods at Costco, that meant driving home directly to keep things from thawing out along the way.  Yes, I'd brought my camera, my camera bag with extra lenses, my tripod, my GPS, my Montana Atlas.  But no, I had not brought a cooler for the frozen food.  Oh well, you can't have everything.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Adventures in Geocaching, March 12th, 2015

The Thompson River
Taken March 12th, 2015
Sanders County, Montana

As my regular readers know, I've been geocaching on and off since 2006 when I bought my first Garmin eTrex Legend in Crescent City, California with the idea of it letting me know how far I was walking when hiking on the trails in the various components of Redwood National and State Parks.  Of course I quickly learned that the redwood canopy was too thick for satellite signals to penetrate.  Oh well.  Let's try something different, so remembering that Mr. Grubstake had displayed geocaching items at his restaurant high above Hamilton, Montana, I looked into a new (to me) activity.  At the time, there were over 1500 caches hidden within a 100 mile radius of my house in Smith River, California. When you consider that the house sits three miles inland from the Pacific Ocean, you have to figure that most of those caches are going to be hidden somewhere on land, that is in half that radius.  That was back in 2006.  Today, the geocaching web site doesn't allow you to search more than 30 miles from any given zip code, and there are 563 caches within 30 miles of Smith River.  Back in 2006, I was able to find 37 caches, 20 of them in October alone.  In 2007, I expanded my range outside of California and Oregon, and found 121 caches throughout the Northwest.  I took my eTrex Legend with me on the 6,000 Sunday Drive, and found caches in South Dakota, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee as well.

Old Structure on the Little Thompson River Road
Sanders County, Montana

From 2008 through 2013, I found a grand total of 18, although four of those were in Florida, the furthest east and south I have been with my passtime.  But while I was not out geocaching, lots of other folk were.  Where there were barely 100 caches within 100 miles of my Missoula, Montana home, now there are thousands.  There are thousands within 100 miles of our home in Plains, and one way to get to know the area, is to go out hunting for them.  In 2014, I set myself the goal of reaching 300 lifetime finds before the end of the year.  By December 31st, I was well past that number, having found 149 caches during the course of the year, and I set a new goal:  500 total by year end 2015.

Winter weather is generally not conducive to searching for things in the woods, but I went out nonetheless and found 10 caches in January and 16 in February.  Then Winter left here in the Northwest, and March was very spring-like.  On March 12th, I set out with the idea of finding caches along a road I'd never traveled, the upper end of the ACM road  where Sanders, Flathead and Lincoln Counties meet.  A group of local geocachers going by the name Clark Fork Valley GeoCachers have placed a series of caches along the ACM road at roughly every 1/10 mile from where the road starts at MT 200 east of Thompson Falls to where it ends at US 2 east of Libby.  We're talking a 40 mile stretch of dirt road with almost 400 geocaches hidden along the way.  This has been my go-to path when I want to add a quick 10 or so finds to my list.

The ACM road was built by the Anaconda Mining Company back in the days when they were logging this area to supply support timbers for the mines in Butte.  There is a county road that parallels the ACM road just a few hundred feet away.  BUT, and it's a big but, there is a river that flows between the two:  the Thompson River.  Both roads run from MT 200 to US 2, and both are heavily salted with geocaches.  I've looked for only a few of the county road caches, but have hit the ACM road more heavily, and today I thought I'd go to the end.  The map made it look as if the ACM road skirted the southern bank of the Thompson Lakes, and I'd never been there, so why not.

Old Barn on the upper Thompson River
Flathead County, Montana

From our house, as the crow flies, it's just a couple miles to the Little Thompson River Pass Road, but it's a bit further by car.  Once on that road, it's an eighteen mile drive up and over the pass on a road that is mostly dirt, although this trip there were patches of snow and ice, and once I started down the western slope, there was a lot of rock that had fallen into the road bed.  I found myself twisting the steering wheel right, then left, then right, just to avoid the rocks.

Once down to the confluence of the Little Thompson and the Thompson, I turned north and headed toward my first cache of the day.  Kevin had bought me a new Garmin Montana 650t GPS unit for Christmas, and I was making the most of it.  For today's trip, I had programmed in some 70 caches along the last seven miles of the road.  The first was an easy find, as were the second, third, fourth, and so on.  It looked like it was going to be a great day, but then I got to number ten.  Nothing.  Couldn't find anything that looked right.  OK.  Spend some time, but then move on.  There are plenty more.  Number eleven started out elusive, but, ah, there it is!  Having found eleven, I walked back to where number ten was supposed to be, thinking that maybe approaching from a different angle would improve my chances.  Nope.  Still nothing at site ten.  And it started snowing.

Middle Thompson Lake looking North
Lincoln County, Montana

I decided to drive on to the end of the road, try to find a new cache hidden along US 2, then turn around and see what I could find on my way home.  The road dumped me out onto Highway 2 much sooner than I expected, but I turned left toward the West, and was quickly up to highway speed.  After fifty miles of dirt road, it felt good to be able to drive faster than 25 mph.  I passed Middle Thompson Lake and looked at my Garmin to find that the new cache I was seeking was still several miles ahead of me.  No, this was not what I was wanting.  I still had to get back home, and the fastest way meant backtracking on the dirt ACM road.  Otherwise, I would have to go all the way to Troy (63 miles), then south to Noxon (43 more miles), where I would still be 70 miles from home.  As an alternative, I could drive east to Kalispell (47 miles), which would put me 85 miles from home.  No, the 50 miles of dirt road seemed like a better option.

Realizing that somehow I had taken a turn off the ACM road, which is why I got to US 2 so quickly, I started looking for my original objective.  And sure enough, just between Middle Thompson Lake and Upper Thompson Lake was my road, and a geocache.  Found that one quickly (ACME 372 was its name), and just as quickly found ACME 371 and 370.  In fact, I found every cache through 364 and stopped along the way to take some pictures of the lake.  By this time it was getting late and I hadn't brought along any lunch.  It was time to stop looking for caches and head on home.

Middle Thompson Lake looking West
Lincoln County, Montana

No problems with the drive, and as I climbed the Little Thompson River Road, I met a road grader moving the rocks I had dodged earlier off the roadbed.  Didn't have to bob and weave so much, just inch my way past the grader, and from there on it was smooth sailing the rest of the way home.  All told I found twenty caches and had a great day out enjoying our beautiful northwestern Montana home.

Caches found:  ACME 300, 301, 302, 303, 304, 305, 306, 307, 308, 309, 311 (NOT 310), 364, 365, 366, 367, 368, 369, 370, 371, 372.

Friday, March 20, 2015

The Alphabet 2006, W - Z

W is for Woodpile
Smith River, California

While this is the image used in my original book, I could not find it among my photographic files.  The picture above was scanned from the book, so there is no photographic information available.  That said...  For years, Mother would buy a cord or two of oak each fall which she would split and burn in the fireplace.  This is one of the remaining woodpiles in the back yard.

X is for Xanthophyll
Taken December 8th, 2006
Smith River, California
Nikon D80 DSLR, Sigma Lens set at 45 mm
ISO 200, f /5.6, 1/60 second

A yellow crystalline pigment, C40 H56 02, found in plants.  It is related to careotene and is the basis of the yellow seen in autumn leaves.

Y is for Yacht
Taken October 24th, 2006
Gold Beach, Oregon
Nikon Coolpix L3 Camera, Focal Length 19.2 mm
ISO 50, f /5.3, 1/250 second

This being a sea-side community, there's no end of boats in our harbors.  This particular boat, the Pola, is moored at the harbor in Gold Beach, Oregon.

Z is for Zither
Taken December 11th, 2006
Smith River, California
Nikon D80, Sigma Lens set at 18 mm
ISO 200, f /3.5, 1/60th second

This is actually an Appalachian Dulcimer, a true American folk instrument which was based on the German Zither.  Below I show it posed on a chair with an hand stitched back done by my mother, and finally laid on a hand-woven blanket I wove for my father in the colonial overshot pattern called "Methodist Wheels."  I like to think of my father as being one of those "Methodist Wheels."

 Taken December 11th, 2006
Smith River, California
Nikon D80 DSLR, Sigma Lens set at 18 mm
ISO 200, f /3.5, 1/60 second

Taken December 8th, 2006
Smith River, California
Nikon D80 DSLR, Sigma Lens set at 22 mm
ISO 400, f 6.3, 1/20 second

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Alphabet 2006, S-V

S is for Sashimi
Taken December 8th, 2006
Brookings, Oregon
Nikon D80, Sigma lens set at 42 mm.
ISO 200,  f /5.3, 1/60 second, flash

Raw fish isn't everyone's dish of choice, but I love it.  This was the dinner plate served to my friend Steven at the Café Kitanishi in Brookings, Oregon.  I had ordered the same sashimi combination plate a couple of days earlier, and I have to say that this is the best sashimi I've had anywhere.

T is for Teasel
Taken December 1st, 2006
Near Gold Beach, Oregon
Nikon Coolpix L3, Focal length 19.2 mm
ISO 50, f /5.3, 1/65 second

Any of a genus (Dipsacus) of bristly plants of the teasel family, with prickly, cylindrical heads of yellowish or purplish flowers; esp the fuller's teasel (Dipsacus fullonum) with flower heads having sharp, spinelike bracts.  Weavers used to grow these in their gardens, drying the heads to use as a tool to full or raise the nap of newly woven cloth.

U is for Ukulele
Taken December 7th, 2006
Smith River, California
Nikon D80 DSLR, Sigma lens at 50 mm
ISO 100, f /5.6, 1/125 second

In June, 1959, we moved to California from Montana.  Shortly thereafter, Father took a business trip to Hawai'i.  He brought me this ukulele which I played constantly until I got my first guitar.  In November, 2005, I rescued it from the garage of the house in Smith River, took it back to Missoula with me and had it fully restored.  It is displayed on a double weave lap robe I wove for my father.  Care to hear me play "Princess Poo-poo-lee Has Plenty Papaya"?

V is for Victorian
Taken December 4th, 2006
Eureka, California
Nikon Coolpix L3, Focal Length 14.8 mm
ISO 200, f /4.6, .6 second

The Carson Mansion, now a private club in Eureka, California, is arguably the most photographed building in that part of California north of San Francisco.  Here it is all dolled up for Christmas, 2006.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Alphabet 2006, O - R

O is for Octopus
The Traditional Christmas Octopus that is
Taken December 6th, 2006
Brookings Oregon

This octopus and his friends below are a small part of the civic holiday display that fills Azalea Park in Brookings, Oregon each December.  This is the most elaborate holiday display I have seen in any community.  Brookings has a population of 6,000.  The photos were all taken on December 6th, 2006, using the "Night Landscape" setting on my new Nikon D80 DSLR. This was the first day I had the camera.  Cheers!

 Also the Traditional Holiday Mermaid

 The Traditional Holiday Seahorse

 A Cup of Cheer!

P is for Pilings
Taken December 1st, 2006
Gold Beach, Oregon
Nikon Coolpix L3 camera

This is not the picture included in the book although it was taken at the same location.  The pilings in question are just about all that is left of a salmon cannery built on the south bank of the Rogue River at Gold Beach, Oregon.  I say just about all, because there are some interesting "rock" formations here as well that are not really rocks, but compressed scrap metal from the old "tin" cans used in the cannery.  The original picture was taken at low tide and the ground around the pilings is visible.

Q is for Quilt
Taken December 7th, 2006
Smith River, California

Momma and Grandma used to quilt as a team.  The four quilts shown here were made by the two of them sometime in the 1920s or early 1930s.  They have lived in the family cedar chest until now, as Mother was saving them for when I got married.  With Mother gone, I now have four brand-new 80 year old hand sewn quilts.  All pictures were taken with my Nikon D80 DSLR on December 7th, 2006, in Smith River, California.  The ISO was set at 200, the shutter speed was constant at 1/60th second, the focal length varied from 24 to 38 mm, and the aperture from f /4 to f /5.

If you know what to look for, you can see which stitches were done by Momma (the ones that look machine done) and which by Grandma (the more open, looping stitches).  I can assure you that Momma's were hand done and not done by a machine.

R is for Red
Smith River, California

I would say that R is for Rose, but Roses come in a variety of colors, and this particular rose was as red as anything I've ever seen.  This picture was one of the first taken with my Nikon D80 Digital Single Lens Reflex camera, on December 6th, 2006.  Yes, roses bloom in December in Smith River, California.  Focal length was 50 mm, ISO 140, f /5.6, 1/125 second.

Friday, March 6, 2015

The Alphabet 2006, J-N

J is for Juice
Taken 12/2/2006 in Smith River, California.  
Nikon Coolpix L3.  ISO 50, f /3.2, 1/60 second)

J was my only real problem child in putting together this alphabet book.  I considered Jicama, Jaguar, and Jewelry, shot Jalapeños and Jeeps, and woke up in the middle of the night saying "Jack."  Jack is my Jack LaLanne Juicer, and here he's making my favorite morning concoction--Apple (from the trees in the back yard), Carrot and Ginger Juice.  (And you thought X would be a problem.)

K is for Kelp
Taken 11/29/2006 at Pistol River, Oregon, 
Nikon Coolpix L3, ISO 50, f /5.3, 1/60 second

Kelp is the most common form of sea vegetation washing up on the beaches of California and Oregon.  It is a form of brown algae, and the ashes produced when kelp is burned give us iodine.  These photos were taken at the mouth of the Pistol River, Oregon, on a hidden beach near Klamath, California, and on Harris Beach, Brookings, Oregon.

Taken 7/17/2006 near Klamath, California with a Pentax SLR film camera

Taken 12/1/2006 on Harris Beach, Brookings, Oregon
Nikon Coolpix L3,  ISO 50, f /5.3, 1/50 second

L is for Lemons
Taken 11/30/2006 in Crescent City, California, 
Nikon Coolpix L3. ISO 50, f /4.6, 1/30 second

While looking at the jalapeños (hay is for jalapeño) in Ray's Market, Crescent City, California, I shot these lovely lemons as well.  And as we all know, when life hands you a bunch of lemons, you should make lemonade.

M is for Manzanita
Taken 10/26/2006 along the GO Road, Del Norte, County, California
Nikon Coolpix L3, ISO 50, f /4.9, 1/160 second

A member of the heath family, manzanita grows as a dense ground-covering shrub throughout the mountainous regions of northern California and southern Oregon.  It is quite distinctive, with its bright red bark and equally bright green leaves.  It is the plant I think of when I hear the term "chaparral," although technically speaking, chaparral refers to oak.

N is for Necklace
Taken 12/4/2006 in Smith River, California
Nikon Coolpix L3, ISO 50, f /3.4, 1/60 second

In 1965, thanks to Heifer Project, International, my father and I boarded the SS President Lincoln in San Francisco, arriving in Yokohama 13 days later.  Aboard ship we played cowboy to 25 bred Holstein heifers, themselves bound for the pioneer farmers in Hokkaido.  One of the gifts Father brought back to Mother was this 3-strand necklace of cultured pearls.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Alphabet 2006, F-I

F is for Fern
    ...  or possibly

Taken 11/25/2006 using a Nikon Coolpix L3 camera, ISO 125, f 4.2, 1/60 second.

I've been taking pictures of ferns for 30+ years, but this shot, taken alongside the Newton Drury Scenic ByWay (old US 101) in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, is the first shot I've really liked.  This is the shot I submitted to The Photographer's Workshop.

Taken 8/21/2006 with a Pentax SLR film camera.                 
Taken 10/25/2006 with a Nikon Coolpix L3 
camera, ISO 50, f /6.4, 1/60th second.
Taken 10/27/2006 with a Nikon Coolpix L3 camera, ISO 50, f /7.7, 1/60 second

 The fuchsias were all shot in the back yard of the house in Smith River.  Mother never cared much for cut flowers, seeing them as a frivolous waste of money.  Rather than fill her room in the nursing home with flowers, I printed my photographs on Post-It Note photo paper, and stuck them up on the walls by her bed.  The single blossom has been manipulated using Adobe PhotoShop's watercolor filter.  Momma liked it.

G is for Gull
(No information available for either photo)

I could not find the original of the immature gull I submitted to the Workshop, so the second gull here is a substitute.  The picture I could not find was one of the first pictures I took with my tele/zoom/macro lens fitted to the Pentax SLR.  It was taken at the harbor in Crescent City.  The picture of the light brown immature gull at the top was taken in a McDonald's parking lot in Brookings, with the Nikon D80 DSLR and a 50-200 mm zoom lens.  Of course, in my heart of hearts, I know that G is for Gypsy.

Taken 8/17/2006 with a Pentax SLR film camera in Smith River, California

H is for House
(No information available for this photo)

Driving the scenic Rogue River Highway from Grants Pass to Medford, Oregon, my friend Carl and I passed this house.  I hit the brakes, did a U-turn, saying, "That, my friend, is a photo-op!"  When I submitted the image to my peer review group, the only criticism I received was that the scene was too dark.  In the original book, I placed a second version of the image, having lightened it a bit.  The image above differs from both in that I re-opened the original image as a RAW format file, and then processed it as I normally would these days in Photoshop CS5.

I is for Island 
(No information available for either photo)

Castle Rock is a National Wildlife Refuge off the Crescent City, California shore--due west of Pebble Beach Drive.  For over 30 years, I've been intrigued with shooting this island and its denizens, but it would take a 500 mm lens at the least, and at the time I published this collection, I still didn't have the equipment I would need to to get the shots I want.  I can't complain about these sunset shots, however.  See if you can't hear the seals and sea lions barking.  (In the book, there was a third photograph, a truly stunning sunset shot, probably taken with my film camera.  I cannot find the digital version of that image today.)

I apologize for the lack of information on so many of these images.  Apparently, when I copied them from their original location to the file folder for this blog, Photoshop stripped all photographic information from the images.  I am not amused.